Friday, November 13, 2009


I was standing at the altar. Sylvie, my sister, and a friend from work were to my left, smiling widely and wearing the dark purple bridesmaid's dresses that I had picked. Tulips and lilies were everywhere. Everything was perfect. It was finally my wedding day. A strong sense of relief and calm washed over my as I turned to my husband, ready to kiss him for the first time as his wife.

"Je t'aime, Karine," Sidney whispered seconds before his lips met mine.

I sat straight up in bed, my heart pounding through my chest. Two months had passed since I had ended the engagement. Two months had passed since I had last spoken to Sid. And every night for the past two months, I had had this dream—a haunting combination of the wedding I had planned with Thomas, but with Sid starring as the groom.

I crawled out of bed and went into the kitchen for a glass of wine. I took a long sip and sighed. I expected my life to fall into place rather quickly, but something still wasn't right.

I moved into the living room and turned on the television. Of course Sports Centre would be on. Of course they would be talking up Sid's amazing hat trick tonight against Ottawa.

I groaned and buried my face into the couch cushions. I couldn't get away from that man.

I needed to stop putting off the inevitable. I tried to avoid Sid, but all of Canada and my own subconscious were working against me. I had to call him.

"Pleasedon'tanswerpleasedon'tanswerpleasedon'tanswer," I muttered into the phone as it rang three, four, five times. Right as I thought voicemail would pick up…


There was a lot of heavy background noise. He was at a club.

"Hi, Sid."

"Karine? Is this you?" he yelled. He said something unintelligible, and then the background noise vanished as he moved outside. "Are you there?"

"Yeah, I'm here."

"So…there anything you want to tell me?"

I rolled my eyes. Subtlety was not his strong point. "Don't be coy. You know."

"I want to hear it from you."

"Thomas and I are over."

There was a long pause. "Because of me." It wasn't a question.


"I'm sorry about that night. I shouldn't have let you drink so much. I should have taken you home."

"Don't apologize."

Another long, awkward pause.

"I think we need to talk," he said.

"We are talking."

"I mean face-to-face, Karine."

I exhaled loudly.

"Come on, Karine. We both know why it happened. We owe it to ourselves."

This is exactly what I was afraid of. Sid and I both knew the feelings were still there. It was dangerous, familiar territory that I was unwilling to reenter.



"I said no," I interrupted. "I called you. I did my duty. My life is a mess because of you. Things were fine until Christmas. You've ruined everything!"

"You don't mean that."

"Bet me," I replied acidly.

"I saved you from an unhappy marriage." His voice was brimming with anger.

"Fuck you," I shouted.

"You are absolutely ridiculous. How about you let yourself be happy for once?" Sid hung up. I threw my phone at the wall.

"Jesus Christ, Kar, what's going on out here?" Sylvie appeared in the doorway.

"Called Sid. Hope you're happy," I snapped.

I tried to go back to bed, but Sid's last line kept repeating over and over and over in my head. Why couldn't I just let myself be happy? I had admitted to Thomas that I still had feelings for Sid. I knew he still loved me. A gaping hole had been torn through my heart when I left Pittsburgh. We did things wrong the first time around. Maybe now, after two years apart, we could make it work.

"Don't be ridiculous," I muttered to myself before I rolled over and fell asleep.

Another week passed. Another week of waking up at two in the morning, freaking out because of that stupid, ridiculous dream. I thought that by calling Sid, I was satisfying my subconscious. Apparently Subconscious Karine wanted more from him than just a phone call.


"Damnit," I muttered over and over as I clicked the "purchase" button.

"Congratulations! Your flight to Pittsburgh on March 27 has been confirmed."

I stared at the screen. No turning back now.